An editorial in the NY Daily News on Sunday slams Mayor De Blasio his “selective protest.”
In March, the mayor boycotted the St. Patrick’s Day Parade because the organizers refused to allow gays to march behind banners stating their sexual orientation. However, on Tuesday night he attended the annual fundraiser of Agudath Israel of America, an Orthodox Jewish group that has lobbied against legalizing same-sex marriage in New York.
“The St. Patrick’s Day march is steeped in Irish culture, which, in turn, is steeped in Catholicism. For two decades, organizers have denied entry to gay groups that seek to participate as gay groups, while welcoming homosexuals who seek to march as individuals,” says the editorial.
“Hilary Beirne, executive secretary of the St. Patrick’s Day Foundation, said the event is a ‘celebration of Irish heritage and culture — nothing more, nothing less.’ Other organizations wanting to make statements would be similarly barred, he said.”
The piece goes on to say that “the foundation’s exercise of First Amendment rights ran counter to the mayor’s well-founded belief that gays and lesbians must have full and equal rights.”
The mayor explained why he would not march: “I simply disagree with the organizers of that parade in their exclusion of some individuals in this city.”
The NY Daily News editorial then says: “Agudath Israel of America has its own exclusionary policy – one that is faith-based and applies to a far more fundamental aspect of life than marching in a parade.
“Holding same-sex unions to be ‘morally and legally unacceptable,’ the group lobbied to stop passage in 2011 of legislation that authorized gay marriage in New York. It urged constituents to call their state senators, and Senate leader Dean Skelos, and demand action to ‘defeat this pernicious legislation.’”
“Yet there de Blasio was at the Agudath Israel fundraiser at the New York Hilton, offering heartfelt greetings and calling its executive vice president, Rabbi Dovid Zwiebel, someone ‘I deeply respect and listen to carefully.’”
The editorial says it’s all because of votes.
“From the time he served in the City Council, in a Brooklyn district that includes heavily Orthodox Borough Park, de Blasio has helped Agudath Israel and other Orthodox groups secure aid for day care and other services.
“The beneficiaries have reliably repaid the favor with campaign contributions and their votes on Election Day.”